Tag Archives: inbound

Modern Consumer’s Buying Behavior Has Changed: Has Your Marketing?

pre roll ads

5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … Skip Ad > >

I so hate this drill, especially when I hop on to YouTube to watch a Tom Cruise video. I literally despise these pre-roll ads. These ads are so annoyingly right in my face.

I didn’t log in to YouTube to watch a father scolding his son for losing his laptop and then the son buying a refurbished laptop from a popular ecommerce website (Ad Name: “As Good as New”). Though I’m an online shopaholic but at my own convenience and desired time. I mean I don’t love that shopping portal enough to come in between Tom Cruise (virtually) and me and hamper my video-watching experience like that.

I hate such brands that do NOT seek my permission and expose me to their marketing messages hundred times a day. This triggers a barrage of questions in my mind about their marketing strategy (and their marketers in particular!).

I feel so fortunate as a marketer in my career to have seen traditional marketing getting redundant and less effective in the last decade and subsequently wiped out by permission-based marketing in last 2-3 years. According to an Adobe study, marketing has changed more in the last 2 years than in the last 50 years.

As marketers, we need to acknowledge and respect the fact that with technology adoption gaining pace with each passing day, people are are getting better at blocking out these interruptions.

  • TV ads…We’ve TiVO/DVRs to skip advertisements. I so love Netflix’s House of Cards, free of advertising.
  • Radio ads…Users have XM/Sirius Radio/Pandora/Spotify to cut their advertising reach
  • Unsolicited (cold calls)…Fortunately, we’ve national Do Not Call Registry.
  • Spammy emails ….I routinely employ spam filters.

As a matter of fact, a large number of organizations are still not convinced about the merits of permission-based marketing for two reasons:

  • Their otherwise expensive outbound methods have fetched results for them so far. So new approach means new risk to revenues. And, not many are risk takers.
  • Permission-based marketing requires investment in terms of resources, effort, time and money. And, most of all, PATIENCE for long-term rewards.

So, such brands resort to “spray and pray approach” and thus still do “batch and blast” email campaigns and pray for leads online. And when the results do not pour in, it feels like as depicted in the picture below.

inbound

I love this brilliant quote from Dharmesh Shah, cofounder HubSpot

The bottom line is that people are now wary of traditional outbound marketing messages and adept at blocking outbound marketers out. Netizens now learn about and shop from brands in a new way – through search engines, blogosphere and social media sites.

To be successful in today’s times, we need to match our marketing mannerisms to the way our prospects gather information and shop for our products.

How?

Generate leads through #Inbound marketing and target customers with relevance marketing.

inbound-versus-outbound_strategy_quote

Options for marketers:

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Why Inbound Marketing? Why Now?

Having spent good 8 years in online marketing domain and worked with multinational companies of high repute and also dozens remote service buyers, I can say with authority that Inbound Marketing Methodology is here to stay.

inbound_vs_outbound_marketing_infographic_facebook_thumbnail

With all the digital noise around and benefits of embracing inbound marketing being thrown in the faces of marketers day-in and day-out, companies seem to be inclined towards adopting it but largely suffer from the lack of patience required to let inbound do its magic and yield results. Without team, budget and other resources required to build a good inbound marketing team and cultivating content culture within the company, most CMOs seem to be in a rush to see skyrocketing figures on metrics charts from the word “GO”. I know, I know, there’s lots of pressure from the top but believe it or not, inbound does take time, indeed lots of time. Why? Simply, because it does not treat Customers as entries in the CRM or marketing contacts databases. It focuses on talking to customers as HUMANS and triggering interactions not between brands and customers, but HUMANS and HUMANS across both the sides of the conversation. And, you know good HUMAN relationships do take time to get built and nurtured.

Back to the blog title – Why Inbound, why now?

Gone are the days when as a marketer, you could be inconsiderate to interrupt your audiences anytime, anywhere with your cold calls, cold emails (better to call them SPAMS), annoying ads, etc. This was the outbound or tradition way of marketing, which has now gotten replaced with new-age marketing or INBOUND MARKETING, which is customer centric and that uses content as a beacon to attract audiences and help them find your brand on their own. That’s why we call it “inbound” after all. inbound-marketing-image

Customers or buyers are more connected and informed than ever. Most of them have already researched well before they find your brand to connect with. So they will make their purchase decisions, whether you reach them or not. So, it’s best to adopt a marketing strategy that acts like a magnet and help them find you while they are aggressively researching for solutions to their problems/needs.

Here it’s important to know that to formulate a successful inbound marketing strategy, you got to know your target audiences, really really well before you empower them with information or means to find your brand and engage with your products/services.

  1. Create Buyer persona
  2. Study Buyer Journey
  3. Create remarkable, helpful content
  4. Leverage that content

It’s not enough to create great content. It’s equally important to get that content out in the world. Content distribution adds context to your content. And, content + context = successful inbound marketing. Right?

More about Inbound Marketing in my next blog…….Stay tuned!

Decoding the Secrets of Successful Content Writers

content-creation-curation-tips

I love to strut around poofy-chested, when my work wins me plaudits. All inbound marketers do. Content creation and marketing go hand in hand. Content forms the core of inbound marketing methodology today.

Though many content creators buckle under the pressure of hammering out content real fast, and produce boring, mediocre quality content, there are some, who’re real good content creators. So what are those habits that help these content builders produce top-notch, relevant and remarkable content?

So before you run your fingers on the keyboard next time, take a glance at few habits, which only successful content creators have. Those you’re not going to cultivate these overnight, still if you start realizing their importance, you’ll be starting your journey to become a rockstar content creator.

1)    Read, Read and Read

Creating valuable content calls for extensive reading. Reading what? Industry-related news, insights, reports, case studies, competitors’ content and lots more.  A good content creator skims the entire web for the most relevant industry news and squeezes the same to craft a stellar copy, back with cues and facts. Such content is most likely to resonate with your target audiences.

Start bookmarking and using saving all the data on cloud. Set Google alerts of industry-specific keywords to receive relevant content in your Inbox daily. Figure out where your target audience spends most time online, and monitor those online destinations daily.

2)    A Copy a Day Keeps the Writer’s Block away

Losing the knack of writing is quite easy. If you don’t write for long, next time when you sit up to write, you might end up gazing at your computer’s screen without the cursor moving by even an inch. It’s vital to flex your writing muscles every day. This keeps up the constant inflow of ideas, and your fingers churning out good content regularly. If in the humdrum of corporate marathon, you don’t get the time to write a well-structured blog post every day, you can at least set apart half an hour every day, when you can pen down your thoughts, ideas or something of your choice. Grab a coffee and do some free style writing every day so that you don’t have to face that most dreaded, big monster anytime – Writer’s block.

3)    Network

It’s useless to highlight the profound significance of networking in this digital marketing era. A good content creator is one, who’s open to connect with seniors, peers, thought leaders and industry experts to listen to their ideas and observe their work methodologies. Seize the zillion opportunities of networking on different professional networks and forums. Keep an eye on the posts shared by them and skim these to filter out useful information to enrich your knowledge, and use the same while you produce content in the future.

4)    Curate Only Good Content

Today, anyone and everyone is curating content . What distinguishes successful content creators from millions of self-proclaimed content wizards is their zeal to cement their stature as experts, who love to interact with their target community effectively on the Internet. Add a layer of value, when you curate content, and give your community remarkable, engaging and useful information. They are going to love it, and you’ll see your content sparking debates and discussion thereby making your content curation turn into an interactive session (Bonus!)

5)    Be Curious

Great content creators crave for more and more information to quench their curiosity. It’s their  solid analytical abilities that help them to decrypt the gained knowledge and draw inferences and valuable insights to craft useful content. Curiosity, deeply embedded in their nature, is something that makes them stand out from the crowd as they dare to question the status quo of anything and everything that’s happening around them. Critical thinking stems from their curious nature and makes them great content contributors.

Post your opinion in the comment box below if you want to add some more habits of successful content creators. Your suggestions are precious to me and would help me hone my content writing skills.